Rescuers train in Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (THE NEWS/files)

No easy way to stop drowning deaths in Maple Ridge park

Not sure if signs make difference, said search and rescue

There are not a lot of signs warning of the dangers that lurk in the pools above the lower falls in Gold Creek in Golden Ears Provincial Park.

But Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue manager Rick Laing doubts posting any more warning signs would deter anyone from risking their lives by venturing close to the pools.

“It’s marked as a dangerous area, but people still go there.”

On Monday night, a 21-year-old man from Toronto died after falling into the pool. His 21-year-old friend from Abbotsford tried to help, with both being swept over the lower falls.

The Abbotsford man survived, suffering broken bones, but the body of the other man was recovered early Tuesday.

“I don’t really think signage works. People still ignore it,” said Laing.

There are several signs in Lynn Creek in North Vancouver, but people still get into trouble there, he added.

Laing said the pool is upstream of the final viewing area on Gold Creek and requires walking past a warning sign and a fence.

The pool itself is enticing, but deceiving, with green water masking the strong currents beneath formed by freezing melt water from the peaks above.

“People have to be aware of the risks. Nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them. It’s just a tragic way to lose somebody,” Laing said.

It can be enticing ,but people go there without realizing the danger, he added.

“This type of environment has risks to it and people have to be aware of the risks.”

One member suggested posting a sign listing the number of deaths in the creek.

“I really don’t think that would help. Nobody thinks it’s going to happen to them.”

Most victims are guys in their 20s, Laing said.

Eighteen volunteers from Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue were on the scene Monday night and 13 were there Tuesday morning recovering the man’s body in a pool below the falls.

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